For your healthy life, facts about nutrition labels are necessary to know. Nutrition labels of foods work as the guide of specific product’s components based on average calorie. Most of the packaged foods in the countries of the world need Nutrition facts label. In the USA, this rule of Nutrition facts was established in 1990. However, nutrition guides are created on various dietary targets. When you take the packaged food, it is better to read the nutrition facts labels. It will help you to determine how much calories you are taking.
Facts about nutrition labels
From some studies, it has been seen that the packaged and restaurant foods actually contain more calories than the nutrition label indicates. The side dishes exceed calories up to 200 percent. Let’s see some facts about nutrition labels.
Basic facts about nutrition labels
The following basics are beneficial to read the nutrition fact labels.
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See the serving size first
You should look at the size and number of serving on the package. Then compare the portion size you actually eat to the serving size that is provided. If you find that the serving size is less than your portion, you can eat the more you need to fulfill your portion. It means you eat more calories, other nutrients that are listed on the food label.
See the total calories
You should check how many calories given in the single serving. It is good to cut the calories if you want to lose your weight.
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Check out the percent of Daily Values as your guide
You can use the percent DV that can help you to evaluate how a particular food fits the daily meal. Daily Values means the average nutrients levels for a person who eat 2000 calories a day. If an item contains 5 percent of DV fat, it provides total 5 percent fat that a man consumes 2000 calories a day. Percent Daily values are not for only just a meal. It is for a day.
Maximum and minimum Daily Values
The minimum Daily Value is 5 percent or less than it. You should aim low in trans fat, sodium, saturated fat and cholesterol. The maximum or high percent of Daily Values is 20 or more than it. It is good to target high values in vitamins, fiber, minerals, etc.
Target less saturated fat, sugars, and sodium
If you avoid saturated fat, sugars and sodium, you can easily avoid the risk of chronic disease. Saturated fat helps to cause heart diseases. If you eat too much sugar added to the food, it will make trouble to meet the nutrients you need within your required calorie. Eating sodium causes blood pressure. So, you should aim for low DV percentage of fat, sodium, and added sugars.
Consume a good amount of vitamin, fiber, and minerals
To reduce some health problems and maintain good health, you should eat enough fiber, vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium. It will help you to prevent some diseases such as osteoporosis, anemia. Eat fruits and vegetables so that you will get more nutrients. Remember to consume and target high DV percentage of these nutrients.
It is also important to know about some additional nutrients that are included on NF label. Let’s see them.
Protein and carbohydrates
The percent of the protein of Daily Value is not needed on the label. So, you should eat a moderate amount of meat, fish, milk, cheese, eggs, poultry, beans, peas, seeds, soy produces, and peanut butter.
We know that there are three types of carbohydrates such as sugar, fiber and starch. To consume enough carbohydrates, you should eat bread, rice, pasta, fruits and other vegetables.
Sugar is a simple carbohydrate. Some foods contain sugar naturally. Corn syrup, fruits, milk contain sugars. Many foods have added sugars. Added sugars are still not included in nutrition facts label. The recommendation of Dietary Guidelines for American for added sugars is less than 10 percent of the daily calories.
Check all the ingredients listed on the package
The foods that contain many ingredients will have an ingredients list. The list will be according to the weight. So, the largest amounts are at the first of the list. The list is helpful to the people who have food sensitivities, people who like to avoid shellfish, sugars, etc. or the vegetarian.
Some unknown facts about nutrition labels
Let’s see some unknown or uncommon facts about nutrition labels.
- The foods that contain five calories or less than it, will mark as calorie free.
- If a food contains fat below 0.5g, it is expressed as 0 g fat.
- Serving size means the amount of food that consumed every eating by a person who is 4 years or older.
- Manufacturers of the products determine the nutrients of their products.
- FDA does not check how accurate a product label is.
- Besides, FDA does not preserve the database of information of nutrition. It accepts the review and databases of the industries.
- Ready-to-eat products such as pizza, a cake cannot maintain the serving size when they divided into slices.
A quick guide to nutrition fact labels
- Start from the top of Serving Size per package or container. Then adjust the measurements below the point according to your need.
- See the calories number per serving.
- Try to take minimum nutrients of fat, cholesterol, sodium.
- Eat plenty of vitamins, iron, fiber, and calcium.
Facts about nutrition labels are essential for a healthy life. If you read the nutrition level and can adjust your diet according to your need, you can lead a happy and healthy life. We need all types of nutrients for our body. But the amount of them is not same. Some nutrients are needed for a minimum amount, and some are needed for the maximum amount. So, a food nutrition label that provides with the package or container is necessary to know all the ingredients and amount of calories the food contains.